TMN Movie Review: "Guardians of the Galaxy"

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rating: PG-13
Length: 121 minutes
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Directed by: James Gunn
Genre: Action / Adventure / Sci-fi

“Guardians of the Galaxy” is a fun, energetic entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as American pilot Peter Quill teams up with a band of misfits to outrun bounty hunters in deep space. Rocket, a rough-n-tough raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; Gamora, the deadly fighter; and Drax the Destroyer, driven only by his need for revenge, all partner up with Quill in a desperate stand against the most powerful evil in the Universe: Ronan. The vivid life of the film is bound to entertain viewers of all ages and is a unique, intense addition to the Marvel Universe.

The adventure and action in the film are marvelously done with vivid colors, intense tones and gut-busting humor. The all-star cast makes for an impressive crew protecting an even more impressive universe. The worlds are expansive and immersive, creating a sense of real adventure. The evocative worlds make for a wonderful backdrop for the gang of criminals and mercenaries.

Chris Pratt plays the role of pilot Peter Quill. His career consisted mostly of TV shows and movies for television until he starred in “Guardians of the Galaxy," but he does a magnificent Peter Quill and really brings a great deal of personality, humor and depth to the role. His match, Zoe Saldana, does an equally remarkable job as Gamora, the bloodthirsty assassin.

Wrestler-turned actor Dave Bautista may be one reason filmgoers hesitate to see “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but rest assured he does an excellent job bringing realistic, heartfelt depth to his role. Vin Diesel also brings humor to his role, even though Groot, the computer generated walking tree, only has one line that is repeated throughout the entire film: “I am Groot.” Bradley Cooper takes on the role of psychotic Rocket, a computer generated raccoon.

All of the main characters show a great deal of psychotic characteristics, and all have an exuberance for violence that Marvel plays off in a way that is still appropriate for young viewers. Kids can still have fun in this action-packed adventure. Even with these characteristics, each character has his own relatable trait and still wows and humors the audience with wit and charm.

The actors work so well together and have such great chemistry on the set that it’s easy to forget Groot and Rocket are CGI created. Though the film is centered on these five characters and their effort to save the universe, the canvas that director James Gunn creates is large and immersive. The worlds are filled with unique and creative gizmos and gadgets, and the characters are a witty group trying to save a universe that isn’t very fond of them.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” even does well under serious scrutiny. Even though the plot is a clichéd one that really does nothing groundbreaking for the film, it’s such an effortlessly fun adventure that it’s difficult not to get sucked into the plot because of the characters. Flaws are easily overlooked or even completely forgotten because the film is both beautifully cast and beautifully done. The acting is incredibly sound, and the roles are so diversified that with all of the colorful action, the film instantly sucks in filmgoers and keeps them on the edge of their seats until the end.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” specializes in fun, which is why it’s so easy to overlook the cliché aspects of its plot and even, sometimes, of its characters. Unlike the more serious entries into the Marvel Universe such as “Captain America: The Winter Solider” and the Iron Man trilogy, “Guardians of the Galaxy” takes a faster, lighter, looser approach that feels like a breath of fresh air to the Marvel Universe. As a risky branch out from the usual, Marvel pulls yet another successful summer blockbuster with “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

This is a film that both Marvel and fantasy-adventure fans do not want to miss. Funny, charming, vivid and full of life, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is an instant hit among adventure fans of all ages. The winning cast, well-written and compelling characters, incredible universe, and effortless fun and adventure all come together to create one of the best movies of the year, and filmgoers are already anticipating the sequel. The only true drawback of the film is its weak and overdone plot, but it’s incredibly easy to look past that and just enjoy the adventure. Even though it may be difficult to understand why this rag-tag group commits to saving a galaxy that isn’t overly fond of them, their efforts to save it make for an excellent film that tells a fun and exciting story.